Today is August 7, 2012 and we are now past the center point of Leo. Venus just slipped into the sign of Cancer and Mercury is fixing to complete his review of the recent past and return home. Those of you that follow Mercury closely, or are especially sensitive to his retrograde periods, are probably sighing with relief that his latest backtrack is just about over.
Those who fear and dread Mercury Retrograde typically think in terms of miscommunication, technological breakdown, and the constant change of plans. But there is another aspect of the retrograde that is significant and in my view, the whole point of it.
As an engineer, looking back at what we just did is important. In fact, that’s how I honed my programming skills. I continually tried new things (like Mercury reaching beyond the position of the sun) and then later evaluated how it went (like Mercury slinking back behind the sun). Being a Gemini with both Mars and Mercury also in Gemini helps as I am naturally inclined to Mercury’s process. However, this particular retrograde period has been far more significant for me – and perhaps some of you as well.
If you’ve read my post from two years ago called Projection, Transference, and the Egg, then you know that a major aspect of one’s chart is the Ascendant or Rising Sign. My Ascendant is at 18 degrees Leo, which means that in three days, the Sun will move into my first house. It also means that this entire retrograde period took place in my twelfth house – the house of Karma and unseen influences.
So what does that mean and why share something so personal with all of you?
I’ll answer the second question first. About one twelfth of you ought to have an Ascendant that puts this recent retrograde in your 12th house. In fact, I would guess the percentage is actually higher because, for some unknown reason, the majority of my friends and peers also have Leo on the ascendant. So it’s worth discussing because at least a few of you out there have been in the same boat as me!
To answer the first question, let me first share with you this: Astrology is not just about prediction or forecast, it is also about observation of what just happened (again relating the purpose of Mercury Retrograde). In this Internet Era, one could look up near future aspects to research what they should be like, but my experience is that this is about a 50/50 prospect. Just because an aspect manifested in a particular way once, doesn’t mean it will manifest that way always. So what I often do is consider what I am experiencing (or have just experienced) and then figure out where the influence came from.
For example, I told you how I was feeling restless, and then gauged that it was due to Jupiter transiting my natal Mars. Well, in reviewing the past 3 ½ weeks, I now have an idea of what the purpose of this retrograde was.
Recall that caged animal feeling I spoke of last week. What I didn’t tell you is that in certain areas of my life, I’ve felt this way often. Forty-four years into my life and there are particular experiences I haven’t been able to manifest. Those iron bars still seem to be in my way and I haven’t yet found a way around them.
So for me, this Mercury Retrograde did not just review the recent past, but had me considering my Karma, my entire past. It is like the Universe tapped me on the shoulder and said, “What is your relationship to your past, your Karma, and your purpose for this lifetime?” They showed me how I feel about certain subjects. They showed me beliefs I obtained from past experiences and have held onto ever since. They placed my dreams right next to these beliefs and allowed me to figure out on my own how they are incompatible. In other words, they helped me see that in order to have what I desire, I have to let go of what I believe. I have to let go of the limitations I have placed on myself and on life in general. I have to let go of my belief in those iron bars.
If you believe that the only way to get ahead in life is to be lucky, and you state that you’ve never been lucky, then you also believe that you’ll never get ahead. It is simple math where 1 + 1 = 2. It is logical (another Mercurial aspect). In fact, it is so logical that you can probably get the majority of the globe to agree with you. “I was born into this unlucky situation and will never get out of it without a miracle.” That’s not exactly my belief. Mine is more like this: “I have never been lucky in love.” How many of you feel that way?
So, Mercury is coming to a halt for just a moment, and will then start his march home. He’ll pick up his pace to catch up to the Sun and report his findings before running ahead to investigate what’s just over the horizon.
Today, I’m not sure what I am going to do with this information he’s presented to me. As the Sun drops into my first house, I will have a full month to incorporate it into my latest self-identity. Will I continue to say, “I am unlucky in love”? Will I continue to think, “I am better off alone”? Will I continue to believe that “I am only safe in my home”?
The timing of this Mercury Retrograde had a specific influence on me and those with a similar ascendant. But keep this in mind, nearly all transits must go through one’s 12th house before entering the 1st. The only exception to my knowledge is the node of the moon, which is nearly always in retrograde. So for all of us, we are first dragged through our own Karma before we are then presented with the question:
Who are you and how do you identify yourself?
The first house is everything we say and think that begins with “I am…”. It’s not who we really are, just who we think and believe we are now.
As a man with Leo rising and the Sun about to enter his first house, it is the most significant time of the year for me to review that question – “Who am I and how do I identify myself?”
And in 33 days, I’ll remind myself that identity is only 1/12 of the overall picture. It is only one house of twelve. It may be how I see myself, but it is not necessarily how everyone else sees me. And it’s not who I really am.
In three days, I am simply beginning a new journey through my houses and starting a new solar year…